The success to a jig fishing trip is for the jigger to be jigging where the fish are. This normally relies on the skill and the knowledge of the skipper. The skipper must know where the fish are/will be, and the skipper must also be able to position the boat correctly (calculate the wind and the current) so the jiggers can jig on the fish. The main advantage of vertical jigging is placing the jig exactly where the fish are. If the jigger knows the depth of the fish he’s fishing for, he can drop down to that level with multicoloured braided line. Jigging at the correct depth is easy and much more affective then jigging blind. Jigging over reefs and structures is a great way of jigging.
There are two types of reels used to jig with. You have the conventional reel and the spinning reel. Most jigging reels have a 6:1 ratio.
Here are some popular reel manufacturers:
Jigging rods vary a lot, it all depends on how heavy your jigs are, what depth you are going to be fishing and what fish you want to catch. Jigging rods are normally extremely light, this allows for the jigger to be able to jig all day and it also helps when fishing fish. For deep jigging 200ft + you want a medium/heavy rod as you would be using heavy jigs and you want to have a stiff rod to give the jig action and to be able to jig the heavy jigs. For shallower, lighter jigs you then would use a light/medium rod.
Here are some popular rods:
Lamiglas Tropic Pro
There are loads of different jig manufacturers out there; there is also whole different range of prices. It all depends on what you want to pay.
Center weighted jigs
These have the weight balanced in the centre. This is best for shallower waters and for bottom fish. On the retrieve the jig flutters and darts a lot more.
Tail weighted jigs
You can guess by the name why these jigs are called tail weighted, they have the weight balanced at the tail. These types are best used for deep water jigging. The tail weighted jig has a drop and lift motion, the streamlined designs will resist the effects of current.
A general guide is for 100g for every 100 feet of water. Choosing the size also depends on your target species, depth and current speed. Its good to have a different variety of sizes as conditions might change, or you might change to a new location.
Short and long is normally a personal preference. Some people think that the targets baitfish should try be matched with the length of the jig; i.e. if it’s a long bait fish use a long jig, if it’s a short bait fish use a short jig.
With a wide range of jig colours, patterns and finishes; it can be hard to choose a suitable colour. There is a long held belief that the jig colour should match the overhead light conditions i.e. dark overhead = dark coloured jig, bright sunny = bright coloured jigs. At night and during deep jigging sessions, jigs that are mostly luminous are popular because of their ability to be seen in the dark water. The best way is if your jigging with a few people you should try and spread out colour spectrum as one colour might work so you can change to that. All colours can have their time and place, some colours can be better then another on that spot, then move 200m away and another colour could work.
Braid is essential for jigging. Its stretch free, reduces drag and lets the jig do its work. The braid this ultra thin compared to mono, 15lb braid is about the same size as 3lb mono. This thin braid allows more line to be put on reels, therefore making the reels smaller and a lot lighter.
The use of leaders is important in jigging because the terminal end is exposed to reef, abrasion and bite-offs. Asian jiggers much prefer the stealthy advantages of fluorocarbon leaders since their waters have long been ravaged and the fish have become line shy. When using leaders, make sure you have about 5 meters of leader and then jig. When bring a fish in it will start to wind onto your reel and it will allow stretch if the fish suddenly decides to dive and it also helps the gaff man grab the line easier.
Butterfly - Regular/Flat-Side
Jigging Action: The Butterfly technique requires a precise motion to impart the right fish catching action to the jig. This technique works for both conventional and spinning tackle with the same results.
After the jig is dropped to the desired depth, the rod tip is facing down. With an upward circular motion, the rod tip will be lifted up on the upswing on the reel handle and lowered on the downstroke of the rotation. The reel retrieve is a tight circular motion that is close to the body with the rod butt held loosely under your left armpit. The distance in which the rod tip moves from top to bottom is approximately 10 to 20 inches depending on the desired lure action and retrieval speed. This technique will work on a fast or slow retrieve depending on how the fish are reacting.